Posted by Raven Skylar Tax & Consulting, LLC

2021 Tax Refund Schedule: When to receive Your Tax Schedule

2021 Tax Refund Schedule: When to receive Your Tax Schedule

While many people dread the tax season, we all eagerly look forward to our tax refund from the IRS.

Even though typically, the Refund should be around within three weeks, it varies based on the method of filing and the means through which you want the Refund delivered. This article will break down the refund schedule and how long it will take the Refund to get to you. 

When Should I Expect My Refund?

There is a Where’s My Refund tool on the IRS website, which allows you to access the Refund's status. For refunds submitted electronically, the status can be available within 24 hours. People who mail their Refunds might need to wait for four weeks before having any update on their tax refund. Don’t forget that filing can be as early as January. 

You will need information like Social Security Number, filing status, and the dollar amount you expect. Typically, many taxpayers get their tax refunds within 21 days. However, there is a five-day extra waiting period for people who want their Refund via direct deposit. Also, refund checks might take a couple of weeks to arrive. Here is a table that shows when taxpayers can expect to have their reward

Federal Tax Refund Schedule 

E-file, and Direct Deposit 

Paper file and Direct Deposit

E-file, Check (Mail)

Paper File (Check)

Estimated time of arrival 

1-3 weeks

Three weeks

One month

Two months

Possible reasons for Delay 

There are cases taxpayers might not receive their refunds within three weeks. This might be due to the need for further review. This is common to people with an inaccurate or incomplete report. You might have an instruction from the IRS on how to amend such an issue.

Also, there could be delays for people that claim the Additional Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit. People that claim either of both tax credits might see a PATH Act message when using the where's my Refund tool from Uncle Sam. 

Taxpayers should note that the Coronvirus forced many people to work from Home, including IRS staff. As a result, Uncle Sam might be short of hands to access and process paper returns quickly. This might lead to delay for people who file paper returns.

State Tax Refunds 

The discussion above applies to federal tax refunds. When it comes to tax and to issue refunds, things could be different for each state. 

For electronic filers, the Refund might be processed within 30 days. For paper filers, the Refund could take up to 12 weeks to arrive. For states still observing the social distance rule, it might take longer. Make sure to contact the state tax agency for more information. 

The due date for Taxes 

Taxpayers now have a one-month extension for their 2021 tax filing. As a result, people can now file till May 17, 2021, to account for the coronavirus pandemic. There is the possibility of an extension for folks who might not be able to meet the extension. 

However, filing sooner will ensure you receive your refunds on time. 


The key to receiving your tax refund early is to complete your tax returns on time. Also, make sure there are no mistakes on the Refund and try to submit it electronically. A direct deposit (Individual Retirement account, checking account, savings account) ensures the Refund gets to you faster than a physical check. 

The IRS where's my refund tool is pretty helpful for people who are anxious about their check status. You will get real-time updates from Uncle Sam on the state of your Refund.



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